01 Mar

How do you write?

Banner - Fountain PenHow do you write? Not now and then. Not because someone forces you to. How do you write, as often, and as productively, as you would like?

Fun, plain and simple.

Removing the “must” part from “I must write,” turning it into a simple “I write.”

For me, fun is what made that happen. No pressure, no self-recrimination, no “the world should be this way, and I should be that way with it.” Just plain fun. Read More

22 Feb

So I’ve Written 1 000 000 Words and I Feel Fine – OR – My 6-Year Journey from Wannabe to Neo-Pro, a Lurid Tale of Fiction, Finance, and Fatalism

Banner: running in the snow

So I’ve written a million words.

That’s 1 000 000 words.

It’s a big number. If I wrote a word per second, every second, without breaks for eating, sleeping, or watching Netflix, it would take me 11 days, 13 hours, and 35 minutes to write it.

If I did take breaks, it would take me 6 years. Which is what I did.

I’m going to tell you exactly how it went, what I earned, and where I got Kicked in the Shin by Life, Universe, and SFF legend Jay Lake’s Tub. Also, exactly how many rejections I’ve gotten.

Read on. Read More

19 Feb

Friday Links * 2: Creating Place Names

Banner: Movie clickYearghttoon. Wintrufeil. Yeah, we should all make better place names when we’re world building. This will give you the how and why of place name etymology. Also, it’s aimed at young roleplayers. Meaning lots of rapid transitions and some cursing. But the underlying content is quite interesting. Just remember to pause to write down the lists on a separate piece of paper. Read More

15 Feb

Your Brain as a Group of Warring Tribes

Banner - rowersOnce upon a time in the dark ages of economic history, the human being was a rational agent.

We evaluated what we want, and found the cheapest way to get it. This, of course, had nothing to do with how humans act in reality. Instead, there came the much simplified theory of behavioral rewards.

It said that the brain creates neural pathways, using dopamine to reinforce or suppress them based on the rewards it’s received. This, too, proved wrong. Read More

08 Feb

How Math Destroys Your Progress

Banner - DiceThere is an element of chance in everything we do. Call it chance, fortune, Lady Luck. Call it whatever you want. But it means that if you did great today, you’re doing worse tomorrow. Here’s why.

Imagine that you have an amazing writing day. Let’s say that you managed to type in 4000 beautiful words in a single afternoon, producing four times as much as you normally do.  Everything is great. You’re totally on a roll. Read More

01 Feb

Your Best Work and Your Worst Work

Banner - TypewriterFor years I’ve been hearing other authors say that there is no great difference between their worst work, and their best work. I’ve always thought this was a load of crud.

Of course there is a difference between my best work and my worst work. When I do my best writing everything flows. It is pure, pristine, shoals of wonderful ideas that weave together into a complete whole. It is living in flow with the Muse looking over my shoulder. The words flow out of me in a never-ending stream.

Except that all of that really is a load of crud.

Last year, after reading Chris Fox’s “5000 Words An Hour,” I started keeping track of my work. When I start to write. Whether I’m writing or editing. How many words I achieve. And it’s really opened up my eyes. Read More